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Tornado Watch

December 24, 2009

Well this has been a different Christmas Eve so far.

New Iberia Parish was under storm watch overnight and especially this morning, so we holed up close against the north side of a hotel to block the wind for the night, and this morning it got thick.  Pretty high winds and tons of rain.  We drove slowly to a propane company to fill up our tank before they closed.  And were we ever in luck – Lassalle Gas Company is run by four brothers and a sister, is a landmark in town, and they were a fun crew to hang out with for an hour while we waited for it to pass.  (Richard Holt, you would love this place.  Dutch ovens of gigantic size, turkey fryers, stainless steel stirring spoons as tall as Mazie, stock pots Holt could crawl inside of.)

ALL the locals were pretty casual about the storm warning – last night we asked a police station and the state park rangers about how seriously to take this, and they had no opinion or plans whatsoever, as they hear these things all the time.  But when you hear the emergency radio signal NOT followed by “This is a test of the emergency broadcast system” but INSTEAD followed by “Abandon motor homes and seek shelter – tornados touching down”, well then it was hard not to take it seriously.   Those fellas somehow moved four pickup trucks in half a minute to give Belle the prime spot against the building.  Turned out we were glad we did seek shelter – not only were the Lassalle brothers really enjoyable company (and the kids had tootsie pops for breakfast)  – but there were four local tornadoes, only one fatality so far from a tree fall on a house.

It’s just raining now and the worst seems to be over – traffic is out again, farmers are working in the sugar cane fields.  We’re on our way to Lake Fausse State Park where we intended to enjoy another two days in the cypress swamps and paddle along their 7 mile canoe trail, but their phone lines are down so we’ll see how much flooding is there when we get there.  If we stay there (a beautiful, fascinating park) we might not have cell reception for a few days.  We didn’t want to be driving on Christmas eve or day, intended a couple of restful camping days, but will do what we need to if conditions aren’t right anymore at Fausse.

No matter, it feels like Christmas in Belle.  We are cozy and happy and safe and the kids are full of anticipation.  I think they could care less about where we are, canoes or no.  Our fridge is full of special Christmas food, local satsuma oranges on the counter, our tiny tree is twinkling, and the presents are waiting.  Those sneaky elves even managed to brave the wind last night to leave cherry Hershey’s kisses in their stockings.

Christmas Love to EVERYONE.  Hi Ann!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 25, 2009 11:37 pm

    Cami, I’m happy to see you back on line again – I missed the posts through which I follow your adventure. Merry Christmas to you, Trent, and Mazie Jane & Holt. (We’ll be in Abq for a few days prior to the 6th, then settling in after the 20th or so; if you’re near, I hope we’ll see you.) george

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